Beauty essentials: Top of the (sun) blocks

Finally we’re seeing a little sun of late, which for me is a reminder that summer is - maybe? I hope? - on its way and new sunscreen needs to go on the shopping list. Whenever I’ve asked beauty experts – be they dermatologists, make up artists or cosmetic surgeons – for their pick when it comes to anti ageing skincare, they all agree that the most important thing you can do to keep your skin looking good well into old age is wear a sunscreen. Daily. No arguments, no forgetting on a cloudy day, no saying, “my olive complexion is a sunblock in itself”! Most last twelve months max after being opened too, so if you’re still got some sitting around in your beach bag or glove box from this time last year then chuck it - ASAP!

One formula I have fallen for lately is Cosmedix Reflect, which combines a high performance sunblock with skin-loving ingredients. A physical, oil-free, spray-dispensed sunscreen that won’t clog pores and is gentle enough for even the most sensitive and oil-prone skin types, it provides broad-spectrum UV protection that absorbs quickly leaving a matte finish. Whilst it’s protecting your skin a combination of science and botanical ingredients help firm things and smooth lines, whilst free radical-fighting antioxidants defend skin from environmental stress that can cause inflammation and damage to collagen and elastin. Pretty impressive stuff! It is also formulated free of petroleum-based oils so it nourishes without clogging pores, and for those with severe gluten sensitivities or Dermatitis Herpetiformis, rest assured Reflect is gluten free. Oh and one thing – don’t spray this directly onto your face but rather into your hands first  - and keep well away from eyes. For stockists phone 0800 238 754.

Next up is my regular COOLA rave, one of the suncare brands that I definitely recommend for the whole family. A beautifully packaged collection of organic sun essentials produced out of Southern California, the COOLA range includes a plethora of yummy products that are high performance yet delicate and kind on the environment. It is produced in limited quantity batches, meaning that the range can be reformulated often, taking advantage of new developments in sun science and labelling regulations almost as they happen.
The COOLA range has two distinct organic sunscreen collections to choose from: Mineral, and Classic, each based on different active ingredients. The Classic Sunscreens use organic active ingredients (commonly referred to as “chemicals”), while the Mineral Sunscreens use mineral (“physical”) active ingredients like Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide to scatter and reflect UVA/UVB rays. The mineral sunscreens are effective right after application, making them perfect for the whole family. I cannot rave enough about the brand’s beautifully scented, high performance Guava Mango Sunscreen Spray SPF50. It doesn’t get much easier than spritzing your sunscreen on the go, and this clear, continuous spray in an all natural Guava Mango scent is one of the most effective products I have ever used. Offering broad spectrum SPF 50 protection, the deluxe, eco-sized “Farm to Face” sourced spray nourishes and hydrates the skin with more than 70 per cent certified organic ingredients like Cucumber, Algae and Strawberry Extracts. I was mainly testing it whilst lying prone in a lounger, cocktail in hand, but it’s actually formulated for the rigorous demands of sport and is water resistant for 80 minutes. This means you really can have your fun in the sun and then some! I love that it contains no nano-sized particles and comes in a deluxe size, which for $59.00 will definitely go a long way. For stockists go to
Next up, we all love easy – and when it comes to remembering to put on sunblock, the easier the better. Sunscreen as we know it can be a hassle to incorporate into your everyday routine, especially if you are only spending short periods of time in the sun. This is where BRUSH ON BLOCK comes in, a rather conveniently packaged and compact on-the-go mineral SPF30 sunscreen. It is basically a translucent powder that can be worn under or on top of makeup (that won’t leave skin greasy or with a white residue) that comes in an easy to use, all-in-one dispensing brush. While it is suitable for areas that are exposed to the sun such as the face, neck and hands, it is also perfect for application to the hairline, part lines and for those with thinning hair to provide protection from the sun without the greasiness of a traditional sunscreen. It is great for days at the beach as it is sweat and water resistant for up to 80 minutes and perfect for teenagers who play outdoor sports, so quick and easy to apply. When you are running out the door in a hurry this is a lifesaver, and it is paraben, phthalate and PABA-free, vegan and gentle enough for children and those with sensitive skin. For stockist details phone 0800 204 526.

Last up, one for parents who know the sandy kids scenario well - Garnier Ambre Solaire Easy Peasy Kids Anti-Sand Spray. It is the first advanced SPF 50+ kids sun protection from the European suncare brand with a sand repelling action, absolute magic! Waiting for little bodies to dry is also now a thing of the past thanks to their Easy Peasy Kids Wet Skin Lotion, which provides direct application to wet skin without sacrificing sun protection. Both hypoallergenic and water resistant formulas have been tested under paediatric control and contain no perfume and no colourants, so these are a great choice for sensitive types at any age too.


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